Mini Retreat on Team Teaching (3/28/08)

Team Teaching

March 28, 2:00-400 (Board Room)

            Thirty-seven people participated. We began by reviewing some comments made at the Academic Affairs Retreat last October, then answered the following questions in preparation for roundtable discussions:

  1. In your department, what subject areas do you see where a team-teaching approach might add significant value for students’ learning?
  2. Can you describe clearly the different perspectives or expertise that the team members could bring to a particular subject, course or classroom?
  3. What areas beyond your department do you see as attractive for team collaborations with your area? Explain.
  4. For specific projects that you might have in mind:
    1. Describe the disciplines/perspectives of the possible team members
    2. Describe how the team members can best work together in planning the courses and integrating the perspectives/disciplines of the team members.
    3. Describe how you see the classroom teaching of the team members.
  5. Using your answers to number 4, what effect will this approach have on students’ learning?

The discussions were lively, and many participants commented afterward how much they learn simply from the opportunity to talk about these things with their colleagues.  Following the roundtable discussions, each table reported back to the group as a whole. Time ran short, and Reginetta closed the session with a plea to the faculty to pursue their ideas, to bring projects forward so that together we can look for ways to make them happen.

            As always, feel free to comment, on any aspect of the mini retreat, or on team teaching in general.

Here are Jackie Corrigan’s notes on the report from each table:

Table 1-Karen Pearson reporting


  1. A non-western art survey course could then cover more than one non-Western area
  2. East Asian Literature could cover more than one East Asian area
  3. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Math could be taught together under a common theme e.g.,  Green Course


a.   There are endless possibilities, dependent upon whether an intra or interdepartmental model is being used.

b.   Having more than one person brings more than a singular personal and professional experience to the students.


E.g., color and photography; photography and journalism; Islamic art and mathematics; green design; art, literature and history; endless possibilities.


a.   ___

b.   We would benefit from policy language that fosters the development of partnerships so people are not stretched too thinly e.g., cross listing, curriculum committee approval processes.

c.   Depends on the subject matter, age of students, the hashing out of a grading process/standards between two peopleà interesting dynamics.

Table 2-Mathew Petrunia reporting


a.   Different perspectives are the result of team teaching

b.   Would not want to have co-teaching with ‘similar content professors.’

c.   Some courses could go with any other department course e.g., a communication course.

  • 2.
  1. Team teaching gives students different perspectives on the same subject, leading to interesting dialogue and encouraging critical thinking skills in the classroom and in professors.
  2. Two professors in the same course instills in students a new appreciation for grey areas (goes beyond a yes/no understanding of subject matter).


a.   Sociology with globalization could lead to social networking, second life communication, critical thought and theory.

b.   Art History with fine arts, color, chemistry, science, display and exhibitions, and sociology.

c.   Gemology and math taught together.


a.   Positivist-interpretive-critical studies developed in a single course.

  1. Blended curriculum requiring working very closely with team teachers so one voice will not dominate.
  2. Team teaching makes use of the maximum strengths of each teacher, but allows each person’s skills to fill particular needs of a class as appropriate.

Table 3-Donna David reporting


a.   Design and technology people for a course to keep up with state-of-the-art software and to assist students with it.

b.   Foundation classes in design, photography or fine arts could be paired with history courses.

  1. Philosophical approach and practical approach to a subject.
  2. Visual based course paired with rhetoric based course


a.   Seasoned teacher and novice teacher paired

b.   Two perspectives can get to students’ native interest and intent of their design; sets an example that there are different opinions so students can form their won, different opinion


a.   Writing with rhetoric

b.   Business with ethics class

  1. Science and math with design classes



a.   Lets students know its okay to form own opinion

b.   Deepens critical thinking

c.   Helps students make connections between subject areas

d.   If students see the instructors collaborate, they’ll learn to do the same

e.   Students get different perspectives.

Table 4-Charlotte Brown reporting


a.   FMM 114 is a great place for team teaching-its four components lend themselves well to bringing in different experts

b.   Visual and Exhibition Design had a tech. in the class who added a new perspective to the class

c.   Fashion Design (within the department)-things are taught in a segregated way: patternmaking, draping, etc.-but may make more sense to have these taught together.



a.   Beyond the department-ESL can join with At History (this has been done), so maybe ESL and FMM 114 could work together also.

b.   Fashion Design students and Product Data Management students may benefit from collaboration.

  1. Library instruction for classes-suggest follow up visits in a course.

Table 5-Janice Messinger reporting


a.   Any overview course (of the industry) would benefit from guest professorships.

b.   Product Development and Manufacturing courses may benefit from team teaching

c.   Joining professional English and speech courses with the many courses that include writing and presentation assignments.  Invite English professors at the beginning of an assignment to explain what a good presentation looks like and then have the same professors back to critique the presentations and vice versa (e.g., here’s how industry would evaluate a report-for an English course).

  1. Internship Center instructors can be brought into business classes and business professors into Internship Center classes.
  2. Within FMM-various courses work together: over the course of four semesters of courses the instructors make assignments related to a project that’s carried throughout the four semesters.

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